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Break out the blues in new half marathon

03/20/2013, 9:30am PDT

Former Lake Natoma Four Bridges event connects Johnny Cash to his Folsom past

March 20, 2013
For immediate release

Folsom and Johnny Cash go hand in hand. To honor that connection, the Sacramento Running Association will partner with the city of Folsom to present the Folsom Blues Breakout Half Marathon.

The event, set for Oct. 19, will feature a fast new course, a lifestyle festival honoring Cash, a pub crawl and a musical theme to keep runners on the move.

Mention Folsom around the country and the Cash connection comes up quickly. His 1955 song ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ became a hit; Cash later recorded a live album ‘At Folsom Prison’ during a 1968 visit there.

“The Johnny Cash iconic piece has always been synonymous with Folsom,” said Mary Ann McAlea, Folsom’s tourism director. “When you travel outside of Folsom and they look at your driver’s license, they say, ‘Is this the place Johnny Cash sings about?’

“It promotes Folsom and it pays homage to Johnny. He put Folsom on the map … He appeals across a huge, diverse base of fans.”

John Mansoor, the race director, said connecting the race to Cash makes perfect sense.

“When runners ask, ‘Where is Folsom?’ we got to thinking maybe we should brand the half marathon as a Johnny Cash thing,” Mansoor said. “Las Vegas has Elvis. We have Johnny.”

The new course is set to start at the Folsom Crossing Bridge, head to Folsom-Auburn Road and circle Lake Natoma counter-clockwise before finishing in downtown Folsom.

There is an elevation drop of approximately 150 feet.

“The course should be extremely fast,” Mansoor said. “Perfect for a breakout attempt.”

The festival is scheduled to include Johnny Cash tribute bands and a number of other live performances.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA events include the recently concluded Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run, the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run on April 7, the Gold Rush 100k on May 11 and the California International Marathon on Dec. 8.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.

Tag(s): Half Marathon